Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of Persia"

See other formats


HISTORY OF PERSIA                 CHAP.
To remedy this state of affairs, Chengiz gave the
supreme command to Ogotay, who ordered an assault.
This was successful, and although the inhabitants offered
a desperate resistance they were finally obliged to beg for
terms, after having kept the Mongols at bay for more
than six months. The victors collected the entire
populace, and having gathered the artisans into a separate
class massacred the other males and enslaved the women
and children. After this atrocious act they turned the
waters of the Oxus on to the site of the city, and in
so doing diverted the river once again into its ancient
channel, which led to the Caspian Sea.1
The Devastation of Khorasan^ A.H. 617 (1220)*—After
spending the summer in the meadows of Nakhsab,
Chengiz opened a fresh campaign by the capture of
Termiz on the Oxus, which barred the road to Balkh.
It was stormed on the tenth day and all its inhabitants
were massacred. He then went into winter quarters close
by and ravaged neighbouring Badakshan. In the spring
he advanced on Balkh, which offered no resistance. But
the conqueror, hearing that Jalal-u-Din was organizing
an army at Ghazna, deliberately destroyed the city and
massacred its thousands of inhabitants, preferring to leave
a reeking charnel house in his rear rather than run the
risk of having his communications cut Meanwhile Tuli
had been despatched to complete the sack and ruin of
Khorasan, which had already been occupied in parts by
Chebe and Subutay, who had left governors in some
of the cities. The inhabitants of Tus, seeing that the
Mongol ruler was isolated, had risen against him ; but the
revolt was easily put down by a body of three hundred
Mongols stationed at Ustuva, the modern Kuchan, and
on their demand even the ramparts of Tus were de-
molished by the terrified townspeople. Tuli began his
march into Khorasan in the autumn of A.D. I22Q,
preceded by an advance force ten thousand strong, which
besieged Nisa to avenge the death of its chief, who had
been killed by an arrow shot from the city walls. Here
again the town was stormed, and men, women, and children
1 ridt Chapter II. p. 23.